me, myself, & carrie bradshaw

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image courtesy of HBO

When I was seventeen my first boyfriend and the guy I lost my virginity to broke up with me and my entire world was shattered. I immediately shame spiraled into drugs, alcohol, and irresponsible sex with a much older guy in order to forget how fucking sad I really was. Little did I know this behavior would carry me through most of my early twenties until about three months ago.

I remember going to Barnes & Noble after the initial break-up and purchasing the entire series of Sex and the City on DVD. I watched every single episode and memorized every piece of advice on dating and relationships that Carrie, Sam, Miranda, and Charlotte had to offer.

I wanted to be this strong, liberated, and sexually confident woman and I looked to those four angels for the guidebook.

I’ve read a lot of articles about how the women of SATC were horrible humans with questionable morals but aren’t we all? Aren’t we all just trying to get from heartbreak to heartbreak and sunrise to sunset with our psyches slightly in tact? Why on earth would four fictional women on a flawed television show be good role models for anyone?

And honestly, what the fuck is a good role model?

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I learned so much from those women and I will carry all of that knowledge—the good, the bad, the questionable and the creepy—to the grave. I am a little bummed that I am a freelance writer in 2017 and I don’t have an endless supply of Manolo Blahnik’s and Vogue hasn’t yet asked me to shoot my future wedding. But I am happy that I am a woman, I am happy that I have had the dating experiences that I’ve had, and that I enjoy sex immensely.

And that’s why one day I will look back on these words that I wrote and I will stand behind them and I will be proud to show my children that life is messy, relationships are messy and everyone is flawed but they are certainly trying.

I probably don’t need to keep searching for my Aidan or Mr. Big or Berger or Aleksandr Petrovsky…but honestly, I enjoy it and it’s my choice. It’s not some fictional characters life that I am living. It is my little pseudo RomCom/love story/whatever.

And I am in love with the journey of love.

the girlfriend experience will cost you extra

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art by wastedrita

I seem to be pro at being in relationships that aren’t really relationships. I think at one point I unknowingly put out an ad that asked for the most similar experience to being in a relationship without actually being in a relationship. Could we go through all the motions of a couple but avoid ever labeling ourselves a couple? Thanks.

But I’m tired of faux relationships at the tender age of twenty six. I am tired of accepting that the other person has “too much going on” so we’re just gonna hold off on truly committing to each other. I am tired of acting like I’m okay with being treated like an option. I’m top priority, goddamnit!

I have been through a lot to be this version of Mwongeli. I have done the recommended self-reflection which ultimately leads to self-love and I love the person that I’m becoming. I just wish someone else recognized that and wanted to trap me in a relationship for the foreseeable future. I don’t even need to get married. I just want someone to share experiences and laugh about life with.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

And yet somehow it is.

I am continuously finding men who like me in theory but not in actual practice. I have men telling me how beautiful I am and how great I look naked. I have men who are so excited to text and flirt and do all the frilly shit but then when it comes time to put in some real work they’re nowhere to be found.

I’m almost thirty and I’ve only had one significant relationship in my adulthood. I have had countless flings and been on just as many dates but I’ve never been able to get any of the dudes to stick around for the second act.

How many more non-relationship relationships can I possibly be in before I become a bitter old woman?

 

u accept the fuckboi u think u deserve

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Amber Rose and Kanye West for  Terry Richardson 

I have a real problem with the quote, “we accept the love we think we deserve”. It’s the sort of bullshit passive phrase that one friend says to another and ultimately ends up doing nothing to console the recipient. Like actually no, Heather, I don’t think that I deserve to be treated like an afterthought by Kevin. Do you perhaps think that I do?

All the saying really serves to do is cause the individual who is continuously on the receiving end of repeated fuckboy actions from Kevin/Gina or whoever to believe that they are in their situation because they want to be. Because they somehow think that their own karmic energies have landed them with shit luck in relationships. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy if I ever saw one.

For the last few years I have continuously found myself dating men who behaved like children and were admittedly emotionally unavailable. I, being the magnanimous soul my ma raised me to be, repeatedly forgave and compromised in the relationships because who was I to deny someone a relationship when we’re all just sort of figuring it out anyway. And so it went on for far longer than I am even willing to admit on the world wide web…until recently when I realized that I simply don’t have to put up with all of the tired bullshit people throw my way.

And furthermore, I don’t have to take the words “we accept the love we think we deserve” to heart. I can recognize them as some ridiculous sentiment that someone may have once spouted without thinking and was then parroted back to the masses ad nauseam. Just because I am flawed and still trying to figure out what the hell I am doing on any given day, I do not need to then punish myself in relationships where I am treated in much the same manner. I don’t think it is true that once you’ve found yourself then love will follow.

Sometimes love just finds you curled up in a ball eating anchovies with a teaspoon. And my only hope is that when it does it is kind to all of us. That it is compassionate and honest and meaningful.

A friend recently asked me, in regards to someone I was seeing at the time, whether or not I felt cared for. I was caught off guard and sort of stumbled my way to an explanation of the “relationship”. It wasn’t a difficult question nor did I feel judged by the inquiry. But a part of me was screaming that I didn’t feel cared for. Outside of sex and post-coitus cuddling, I was generally an afterthought to my paramour. Someone to fill the time with between grad school and whatever fuckboy antics he engaged in.

Was I accepting that treatment because I felt I deserved it? God no, I was merely accepting it because I had been conditioned to accept it and I legitimized his behavior with endless rationalizations. Just because he makes me feel bad, it does not mean he is a bad person. He is just going through a tough time, everything will be fine as soon as…

I wish, of course, that things had worked out. That my ultimatums and the constant back and forth had somehow turned our love story into one similar to Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big. Chuck and Blair. Ross and Rachel. I digress.

I don’t know what happens next and I’m kind of tired of dating at the ripe old age of twenty-six but I can say with absolute certainty that I intend to change my narrative as far as love and relationships go. And I hope to inspire others to follow suit.

I hope that eventually we aren’t telling our friends the tired old phrase “we accept the love we think we deserve” but rather to just “accept love”. Because that is all the advice anyone ever needs and yes, I am fully aware that after a certain amount of heartbreak that phrase seems trite but I still believe it is something to aspire to.

Accept love. Because love in all its forms and expressions is an undeniably magical experience that is not fraught with the all the melodrama and disrespect we’ve come to accept. It’s not perfect, no, but it is most certainly better than all the Fuckboy Fantasies we’ve been conditioned to toil through.