I’m one of them.
At age five, it was adorable.
At 10, I had too many sports to play and was convinced that touching a boy was bad luck.
At 15, all my friends had boyfriends, yet I was way too shy to approach anyone.
At 20, life got real and I was still a virgin. Admitting to it was something I was not willing to do.
At 25, I was never in the same place at the same time, so port lovers seemed like a perfect fix for my lifestyle.
At 30, the dating pool shrank significantly and I became comfortable saying no.
You can ask me anything about men or getting a partner and I wont hesitate to respond with: “No way, I have no time. And there’s no one I’m interested in right now.”
It will be done so smoothly and so fast that I will have you totally convinced that there’s no point in introducing me to that hot colleague of yours. In truth, I am so used to confidently saying “no” to questions related to relationships that it just spews out of my mouth before I’m able to give it any thought. But between you and me, you should just stop asking questions and go straight to the introduction part.
According to my mother, I missed the train.
The reality is: no matter how many times I say no, I would love nothing more than to have a man in bed with me keeping my toes warm at night. I dream every day of a partner who will go out with me on my morning runs or bike rides and be a stable belay climbing buddy to catch me when I fall. I dream about a romance in which we can do acro-yoga together, or just sit in absolute silence and be ourselves.
I like to believe that after 32 years of naysaying, I have mastered the art of pushing relationships away. So here are a few thoughts as to why other sexy, fun, successful women out there have the word “no” stuck on the tip of their tongues when it comes to admitting they want a life partner:
1. For fear of getting hurt, opening up our hearts and letting someone new in when we have been “fine on our own” all these years. We don’t need a partner.
2. The ones we have let in broke our hearts, and we don’t want to repeat the trauma with a new love. It’s easier to say “no” than to run the risk of falling in love and getting hurt.
3. We don’t give ourselves enough credit or realize how much we’re worth; we unconsciously think we will never find someone to love us.
4. We know—and demand—exactly what we do and do not want in a partner. We’re close-minded to anyone who doesn’t fit the design of the ideal dream lover we have created in our heads over the years. Being open to what the universe may bring seems too unpredictable of an investment.
5. The thought of staying in bed with a bottle of wine and a movie on a Friday night is more appealing than dressing up and hitting up a club with all our friends and their partners.
6. We always think there’s someone better for us out there. We “shop.”
7. Going on a date is no longer our idea of fun. We’d rather call up a good friend to hang out or be tricked into a double date guised as an “adventure outing.”
8. It has become our friends’ mission to find us a partner. Therefore every single person has become a suitable option for them to introduce to us, making us hesitant to what we say yes to.
9. We legitimately don’t have time—to waste on people who aren’t right for us. We want to be completely sure before agreeing on dating anyone.
Over the years, I have realized that it is easier for me to jump off a cliff, climb up a mountain and travel the world and back than to say “yes” to love for the world to hear—to admit that I want a partner and be proactive about letting someone in.
For all my brothers and sisters who are trying to catch up with that train, as I am: I know that love is scary, wild and messy.
But perhaps it’s time to give it a chance. What do we have to lose? I’m currently in progress; I said “yes” and am moving away from saying “no.” And the more I begin to say “yes” (even if it’s to my own self in the mirror), the more “yes” I get back. We will never know what we actually want in a partner until we meet him or her. The beauty of being human is that we can surprise each other; we’re complex; we change. And not everyone is the same.
If you want to receive love, give it with abandon. Manifest it; don’t shut it down. Take a deep breath, and go for it: say “yes”! Experience how three little letters can change your life.
Author: Carolina Arcila
Editor: Caroline Beaton