I found this post sitting mostly finished in my drafts and figured our fourth Valentine’s Day together was an appropriate time to finally post it. If anyone I know personally is reading this, I apologise for the extreme sentimentality that follows.
For most of my life, I’ve been an insecure hopeless romantic. Trashy rom-coms and YA books with romantic plotlines delighted me. I daydreamed about various romantic scenarios but I told myself that they were just silly fancies, nothing realistic about them. Mostly my feelings for other people fizzled out within a couple of months, so I thought no one could ever hold my lasting interest. And anyway, why would they like me back? I coated my soft romantic core with a hard layer of cynicism and defiance. I didn’t need anyone, so I tried very hard to pretend I didn’t want anyone either.
When I was a cynical 20 year old who didn’t believe in her own happiness, I went to a Christmas party at a new friend’s house. I ate too much pizza and drank too much wine and was much livelier than normal. Someone I didn’t know walked into the party and all my friends cheered “Lox is back!” I was introduced to this Lox, and because I was drunk and chatty, I held a decently long conversation with him. The conversation itself mostly consisted of me showing him pictures of my cat and demanding that he acknowledge his beautiful felinity. We also talked about music and our journeys overseas – he had just returned from his, I was about to embark on my own. After adding each other on Facebook, we went our separate ways and I spilled wine on my friend’s carpet and had a sober friend drive me home as I sang loudly to the radio. A couple of weeks later, I ran away to England where I met two of my favourite people in the world and had a million beautiful adventures with them.
Happy but still cynical about romance, I returned from England. Lox was at every hangout and we kept sober conversation as easily as that drunken night I showed him every picture in my cat album. Eventually I realised that the fluttery, nauseated feeling I got before seeing him was probably less due to sudden onset sickness and more to do with an ever-growing crush. For weeks, I drove him home – half an hour in the opposite direction of my house – to have an excuse to be around him more. Still, I told myself constantly it would never happen – he was planning on moving to Canada the next year, it’d be awkward because we have the same friends, I wasn’t even remotely appealing so he’d never be interested anyway.
Eventually he realised that I wasn’t driving him home because I was kind and eventually he made a move and eventually he asked me out. And thinking about this still makes me smile, even though we’ve been together for well over three years now.
Once, a well-meaning friend told me I’d never find a man being such a “crazy feminist”. Once, a boy I liked told me I wasn’t really a stunner and should lose weight. Once, I believed that love existed, it just wasn’t meant for me.
Once, I met a boy at a party who challenged and changed my cynical nature, and helped me to believe that maybe love was meant for me after all.