Sometimes, the whole notion of “playing hard to get” just isn’t the case.
Having a fling is fun. The random dates, the random meet ups at bars when you’re out with your friends. The playful exchange of texts. The deeper, more substantial exchange of texts that lead to the both of you typing novels in the form of radiant blue iMessage boxes. Or being the person they tag when stumbling upon a funny post you’ll both appreciate. Sort of like a modern day “i’m thinking of you.” Kind of silly, but kind of cute.
I’ve been somewhat of a consistent dater since my junior or senior year of high school, with breaks in between each inamorato.
But as I’ve said in a previous post, none of these beau’s were anything I cared to invest in. They were time fillers. It sounds completely heartless, and makes me seem a little shallow, but it’s the cold hard truth. The truth ain’t always pretty.
Dating in college can be quite taxing.
There are so many options. And so many distractions. Being enamored with someone, and then turning your head and being enamored with the next; from the parties, to constantly meeting new people, to having complete freedom to come and go as you please. College is a lot of fun, but can also be detrimental if you don’t create some sort of balance. You have to be careful, you have to keep track of yourself. Keep tabs on how you’re doing. I mean like, how you’re actually doing. It’s easy to get lost in it all. Don’t. Get. Lost. In. The. Sauce. Maintaing your mental health, and your physical health can sometimes adrift along the way. Sometimes the people closest to you will be able to notice, and will say something. And you’ll hit them with a smug “what do you know?” You’re going to have to catch yourself eventually.
I’ve only had two serious relationships in college, each lasting a year, and each making me realize what I didn’t want. Who I didn’t want. The kind of men to keep in no man’s land, the one’s that needed to stay in the premeditated friend-zone.
Between the schooling, the dating, the jobs, and trying to just figure out how to adult, I felt lost along the way. Who was I supposed to be? What did I want to be? Was I derailing from the path I had anticipated? I had a boat load of open ended questions for myself, questions that I couldn’t give straight forward answers to.
I was living in a comprehensive state of chaos.
My careless actions had led me to a metaphorical mess. My headspace was cluttered with confusion, uncertainty, and an abundant amount of anger. Derivative anger that came from within. Anger that came from losing sight of what I needed to do, to become who I wanted to be as an adult. My self efficacy was practically non-existent.
Precisely, through it all, in this merging metaphorical mess into young adulthood, I felt like a toddler in a super market; lost and scared.
That spring semester of my second year in college is when I decided to take a semester off from school without my parents knowing, and I took up a full-time nannying job as a temporary alternative. I eventually told my parents what was up (mainly because I got caught). My schmuck of a little brother and I were whisper yelling at each other amidst a dinner my parents were hosting with some friends, we thought our Mom wasn’t fully engaged because we had guests over and her attention was on them, but that wasn’t the case. Mom’s catch on to every.single.thing. But she didn’t say anything until the next morning, when both my mom and dad confronted me about why I wasn’t in school. So then comes the honesty.
I made my parents aware of how I felt.
I felt like I needed to figure out what I wanted out of school, what career path I wanted to pursue; and more importantly, I needed to form a stable relationship with myself. I needed to become familiar with the art of balance. I needed to learn how to be nice to myself. To be gentle with my thoughts. I needed to learn how to embrace the good, and the not so good qualities I fostered. I needed to change the way I looked at change. That it was possible to break out of bad habits, and that I could learn and practice how to become a better version of myself.
All of which were important enough reasons to me, which was why I chose to take a break from any academic obligations. To take some time to myself, some time to reform a vision and to reestablish long-term goals that I had set out for myself. The goals that were in the back of my mind, but didn’t yet receive the attention they required to become more than just a vision.
It was time to ditch the bad habits.
It was time to stop taking advantage of the financial support my parent’s have been providing me with.
It was time I took the initiative to grow up, and blossom into my true potential.
This severe urge of wanting to profoundly know myself flooded into my priorities, to become acquainted with this restless soul living within. I wanted to become my number one fan. To be the sole provider in making myself feel good.
Summer 2015 rolled around, and I went off to Israel with my family for 6 and a half weeks and came back as a somewhat new, reestablished Katie. An improved prototype, finally feeling sure of herself, and what she wanted to accomplish.
Aside from building my future and meeting my goals, I wanted to continue to solidify the relationship I had with myself.
I wanted to put myself first, I wanted to meet my own expectation of who I felt I was, I wanted to woo myself, I didn’t want to worry about a relationship. The desire to do whatever I wanted, whenever I pleased. But above all, I wanted to be selfish.
I wanted to be selfish. Point blank. I wanted to do me. To an extent, you really can’t be selfish in a relationship. You have to meet each other in the middle, and I decided it was time to take a break from compromise.
Solitude, man. Solitude.
Just like any other person, I need time to myself.
We need “me” time. It’s crucial to have those “me” time moments. Sit on your deck on a nice day, snag a cold beer, and let a podcast play while you sit in that fancy little Eno of yours.
Someone I had been newly acquainted with, texted me the words “stop playing hard to get” when he hadn’t heard from me in about a week or so..
Stop playing hard to get? I wasn’t even playing the game of wanting to be “gotten” homeboy.
I was just then reaching my goals of self-worth, still slightly preoccupied with this whole self-realization process, whilst soaking in the good and bad of my early 20’s. I’m empowering my thoughts, I’m exploring my dreams, and I’m going to take the credit for it.
I’m not saying that all of this isn’t possible when you’re in a relationship, I’m well aware that it’s all very doable. And it’s a beautiful thing, really. To work towards your own goals, while your partner is doing the same. Compromising when you have to, agreeing when you need to, and letting the petty things go. It’s amazing, dammit.
But as of right now, I’m 22, I’m young, I’m hungry, I’m having fun, I’m in the middle of forming these habits that I’ve wanted to form for years, and I’m making sh*t happen.
Not having a plus one to bring to parties and weddings isn’t so bad. Going solo with the homies is pretty damn jovial . I want to mingle with strangers, throw out a couple winks, catch a few cute smiles. Then be on my merry way as the ladies and I make it back to a girlfriend’s apartment to throw some pizza rolls in the oven while we lay on the living room floor recapping the night, and probably discussing if we’d rather live in the mountains or by the ocean.
What if these are some of my last years getting to enjoy these selfish days? Because somewhere down the road, when I have a husband and kids, I can’t be like “yo..I’m not feeling this whole family thing today, I’m just going to chill”…….it doesn’t work like that when you’ve got toddlers shitting their pants.
As of right now, in my personal scheme, I’m avoiding it. “It” as in dating. I’m avoiding the person I want to get to know on a deeper level, a person I am genuinely interested in, but haven’t made a legitimate effort in trying to pursue this fine young gentlemen because of timing.
As of right now, I’m not willing to invest in another person..not just yet at least. Mainly because I’m still investing in getting to know the correspondent of this post; I’m still investing my time in getting to know me, myself, and I.
I know how trite this might sound, but the truth is, you must first love yourself before you can love another, and before another can love you. Not being okay with who you are, will take its toll, on you and whomever you decide to bring into your covert world that you know all too well.
I don’t want to waste anybody’s time, or my time when i’m still two-steppin’ in lala land..
Who knows, it may take a few more inconsequential, detrimental relationships to get to my kindred soul of a partner, and the truth is, I want to love someone when I’m ready.
I don’t want to deliver a half-ass, half-baked kind of love. I want you, whoever “you” may be, to feel like the one you love truly has your back. Avert from the the quick, instant doses of love. The quick “know you now but not forever” type of love. Ditch the momentary fix. I want to stop taking a good man for granted. I want something that’s going to take time to flourish. Something long, winding, and sprawling. I want to take the time to truly know you. I want to put in the effort of becoming a part of somebody’s life. I want us to work with each other, not against each other. I want us to rebuild when we’ve fallen apart. I want to embarrass you at the grocery store because I can’t act like an adult when I’m around you. I want to put your feelings into consideration. I want to talk mad shit on Xbox Live when we’re playing Grand Theft Auto and we just hijacked a car. I want us to forgive each other. I want us to be kind with our words. I want us to be understanding. I want us to aid each other in coming up for air when times are hopelessly desolate. I want us to laugh so hard that absolutely no noise is coming from our mouths. I want us to rap to jay-z when we’re doing the dishes. I want my family to love you. I want your family to love me. I want to wink at you when you’re across the room at a party. I want our traits to compliment each other. I want to choose your love over anybody else’s love. I want to choose you over and over again. I want to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. I want our souls to harmonize and resonate. I want us to be everything but detached from each other. I want us to be complete without each other, but knowing that we fit like a puzzle piece. I don’t want us to be the absolute center of each other’s worlds. I want us to be a part of each other’s worlds. I don’t want us to lose touch with our friends, I never want us to detach from the people who matter. I want to flirt with you like I’ve never met you. I want us to share our happy thoughts, our regretful thoughts, our hopeful thoughts, our shameful thoughts, and our creative thoughts. I want to share myself with you. I want us be an extension of a safe haven. I want us to be an extension of our wild sides. I want us to be an extension of our futures. Whomever you might be, I want us to be acquainted with each other’s true selves.
But in the mean time…until I get to you..and until you get to me…
I’m not playing hard to get, I’m just not ready to be gotten.