My personal ad sounds like this: 32 year old female, independent, professional, creative, energetic… looking for someone honest, genuine, fun and easy going.
What it should say:
There have been a lot of comers and goers in my years on this earth. People who have come to me lightly on a breeze as if sent here by God himself. I myself personally like to come and go as I please.
I don’t want you to ask me where I’m going (well, OK, I actually do want you to ask that), and I don’t want you calling me if I don’t show up (that’s a lie as well…).
I’ve got a pair of Nikes by every door in my house and most of the time I am in full flight from reality. I forewarn, I am ready to use those shoes every time I am afraid or feel threatened and/or the moon shifts into place and that spring in my gut tells me it’s time to go.
When I am afraid, I might begin to scrutinize your character. I might take a magnifying glass to your life and look through and examine every single move that you make. I will memorize the chorus of your life and when the tune changes even for one beat into a different measure, I will point it out and question it with all of the determination of the FBI trying to find a killer. You might feel badgered or cornered and it might leave you no option other than throwing your hands up in complete, exasperated defeat.
Sometimes these interactions will cause me to feel a hollow victory, proving to myself that you were exactly who I feared you would be.
You see, I am afraid that you will be just one more person that is going to let me down. I know that you are one more human being who does human being things, and you might leave. And if you haven’t already, I fear that you might be planning it.
At some point in our relationship I will become a mind reader. I know it’s a god given gift. I will begin to read your mind and respond to what it is that you’re thinking. I won’t just think about what I think you’re thinking about, I will actually react to it and take action on it. All the while you will sit there perplexed by my behavior, wondering what the hell is wrong with me.
I will have no choice but to tell you that I am crazy and that I thought you were thinking about leaving me and that’s why I packed up your stuff for you and left it in the driveway.
If you let me, I will test and push the boundaries of your love to the limit.
I have to know.
I have to know that no matter how crazy I can be sometimes, or how demanding, you not only will stick it out with me. Even after all of that, you will still think of me as one of your favorite people in the whole world and won’t be secretly judging me in your mind. Remember, I’m a mind reader.
I have to know that my sometimes crazy, obsessive, not based in reality behavior is tolerable by you. And that you not only can tolerate it but maybe find it endearing? I know, I know. This is asking a lot, and I do. Ask a lot, that is.
I ask a lot of questions that will leave you puzzled.
There are moments when I will ask for you to be my protector, defender, confidante, rock, support system, flattery machine, or my backbone. Really, it’s not that I actually need you to be those things at all times, it’s just that sometimes I waver and can’t be those things for myself. I’m pretty sure that in order to get through this maze of life a person has to either be those things, or have someone on their side who is those things.
My personal ad says that I am confident.
What it should say is sometimes that water becomes muddy, and can only be cleared up with a few compliments from you. It also says that I love adventure. What that really means is I want to find an adventure partner, because doing those things alone sometimes is kind of sad.
I know, we aren’t supposed to talk about sad things when we are trying to put our best foot forward, but maybe if you knew it all up front then this would go differently with you more so than it has with all the men who have come before you.
You should know, my friend, that those men left behind little puddles of damage. I don’t expect you to make them go away, but to learn after a while how to sidestep them, so as not to get your feet wet, or splash me with old hurt. I waste a lot of energy asking you where you are from and what you do, when the more important questions are where are you headed, and where do you long to be?
I will ask, “How are you?” What I really want to ask is, “How is your heart? Is it steady? Is it strong? Is it capable of love?”
My ad will say that I am looking for someone who is fun, and laid-back. What that means is I am wondering if you will be the one who makes me belly laugh. If you will be the one who shakes his head at my nonsense and loves me anyway.
I will say that I am looking for someone who doesn’t have a lot of baggage. What that really means is that I want to know that you have laid your past to rest. Have you put things where they belong and have created space for new life to grow? Have you dealt with your pain, or are you going to use me to do that? Please don’t; my heart is very sensitive.
Too often we don’t say what we mean, and we ask trivial, mundane questions when really what we want to know is: Are you a good person? Are you kind? Are you loving? Do you brake for baby ducks crossing the road? Is there passion alive under your skin—swelling, breathing—longing for more of life?
All of the things we think will sound like too much. We cover up what we are trying to hide, and it pours through our skin with a heavy scent of desperation. Let’s start saying what we mean and asking for more. Let’s put our real selves out into the universe and trust that she might actually deliver.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Alicia Wozniak/Editor: Catherine Monkman