I have been extremely reflective this year. I think it has something to do with the weird transitional phase I find myself in. Perhaps it has something to do with turning 26? Maybe being this side of 25, one step closer to 30 (one step closer to death), I’m automatically transitioning without any type of exterior motivation. These reflections usually come to me when I’m out walking or running. I don’t take my phone with me so it’s the one time during my waking hours that I’m not connected to anything electronic. This is the time I do most of my problem solving and analyzing. During one of the deep and soulful (and thankfully internal) conversations I had with myself, I compared past boyfriends and consistent hook-up buddies and what they all had in common. I popped on my Sherlock’s hat, it was time to solve a mystery: who am I attracted to and why?
The first thing that stands out is that they are all musicians. Most of them have been tall or at least taller than me, with dark eyes or dark hair, beards, no style and so the list goes. Physically they are the same but different. I think if all my exes were gathered into a lineup on the street and someone said:
“Hey, what’s this line up for?”
and the other person said:
“We’re comparing all of Lisa’s ex-partners”
Person 1 would say:
“Oh yes, I can definitely see that Lisa hasn’t really varied her taste over the years. Is she also the type of person who always orders the same thing when she goes out for dinner?”
Steak and/or risotto is delicious, and I don’t see why I need to be ridiculed for ordering a similar dish every time, okay? I am an adventurous eater sometimes, but I don’t have a lot of money to spare so when I go out. I like to know that my dwindling funds are spent on something I like.
And just like that, I have created the perfect metaphor for my love life… not really, but I was close. I like risotto, so I’m going to eat the risotto. I like the drummer, so I’m going to make out with him. The clock is ticking! I can’t waste time on people I might not even like! Give me the risotto!
Another large defining characteristic of past boyfriends is that they have all been extroverts. They all had big personalities and liked being the center of attention. This is an extremely attractive quality because it aches of confidence, which I find to be an attractive quality in a dude. I’m assuming it’s the same way men love a confident woman — but I am still trying to wow people with my quiet, thoughtful, sarcastic demeanor anyway.
I hate leading the way in a new place unless I’m showing someone my own house and I NEED to lead the way or else myself and the person I have invited over just stand awkwardly by the door. My ex-boyfriend noticed this and would always walk first to our table at a restaurant or lead us to our seats at the cinema. I loved it at first, but over time (like with most things in a flailing relationship) it became an annoying habit. He took the lead in conversations with groups of friends, even my girlfriends, while I just sat there listening. He chose whether or not we went out that weekend, and I let him because I was enamored. I suppose it felt a bit like I was being taken care of… which is nice for a while but eventually my independence slipped away.
But what was I to do? I had set that standard of allowing myself to trail behind. It was my own trap, into which I had fallen. I couldn’t just take control of the relationship he’d been ‘leading’ for four years. It would have totally rocked the boat.
Now that I find myself single again, maybe the ‘type’ I have been attracted to since I started being attracted to people isn’t actually the person I am bound to end up with. If we were really soulmates we’d still be together, right? (probably not, I am a mess).
So when the inevitable happens and the relationship ends with the guy I was never really compatible with to begin with, I dust myself off and pick up my life again. The same thing keeps occurring; I go back to listening to my favorite music instead of his music, I eat what I want to eat, I start running (solitary fitness is definitely more suited to me). I get energized and passionate about my hobbies and interests and maybe even make someone laugh and have them say, “I had no idea you were like this!” I re-establish myself and then berate myself for getting so lost in the first place.
Upon reflection, it’s not okay that I repress my personality to make room for someone else’s, right? Especially being aware of it, to an extent, during the relationship. Relationships are about two people coming together and co-existing happily, not two people coming together and just morphing into the same garbage person. After reflecting upon this for a while and really thinking about how great it feels when I go back to being myself instead of being a reflection of someone else, I think that maybe these blokes aren’t my type after all.
Maybe the personalities that I find attractive are just a shallow representation of what I actually need from a partner in crime (sexy crime, not jail time crime). I’m sure I will always be enchanted with the fast-talking, energetic kind of guy who takes the lead and tells me not to worry about anything, but perhaps the relationship that lasts the longest and means the most will be with someone who completely surprises me. When I decide to start dating again, I’m hoping my field of vision goes beyond what I’m used to and what I expect from men. Although physically… I still hope he has a glorious beard.