Be more demure.
Men like girls who are feminine.
Don’t show your crazy until you have a ring on your finger.
Make sure you look pretty.
Make sure he feels needed.
Don’t cry in front of him.
Wear makeup, not too much though.
Be smart, but not too smart.
These messages have been ingrained in my head since I was a little girl.
They came from my mother, my friends, society, culture, magazines, movies, TV shows, and self-help books.
Grooming myself, perfecting myself, and making sure that I was all the things I was supposed to be in order to attract and “keep” a guy was of the utmost priority.
I just wanted to be someone’s wife, dammit!
On this mission, I would hide the parts of myself that were not perfect.
God forbid I exposed the side that got angry.
Or the side that felt sad.
Or the shame of feeling destroyed when a guy liked me just a bit—but never enough.
And so I would morph into what I thought men wanted: submissive, nurturing, feminine, helpless—but, simultaneously independent, without needs or demands.
Oh and of course, a hot Asian fantasy all at the same time.
And when a man treated me badly or rejected me—I would blame myself, analyzing what was wrong with me.
You’re not good enough the way you are.
You’re too emotional.
You’re too intense.
You showed too much interest!
I’m happy to report, that all my emotional contortionism has led to…a whole lot of nothing.
Just lots of mini romances, intense beginnings, and abrupt endings.
So what the hell? I tried listening to all the things I was told to do, and it didn’t work. So now I’m left—with just me.
Not just parts of me cherry-picked like a custom order salad.
All of me.
I’m done adjusting, accommodating, and placating so I can attract and keep someone who cannot handle my awesomeness.
From the guy who didn’t like that I initiated sex after our date, because “that’s a man’s job.”
To the guy who said my love feels so amazing, but he should earn it first.
To the guy who told me that when I used the words “trigger and process” when referring to how I was handling my emotions, it was too analytical for his liking.
To the guy who complained that I cared about my career too much.
To the guy who tried to convince me that if he were to “accidentally have casual sex with someone,” that it shouldn’t end our relationship because he was “emotionally monogamous.”
I take accountability for what a sucker I was all those years—to take the discomfort of these men as signals for me to change, to tone down, to be more of what they wanted.
So, for the record, to any guy who wants to date me—there will be no bait and switch.
Here I am, girl untamed.
If you want to be my partner, know that you better be able to match my awesomeness.
Know what you’re getting into—because my days of suppressing parts of my personality are over.
I love and feel deeply, intensely—and unapologetically.
I’d have it no other way.
I’m powerful, dominant, and wild.
I am both highly analytical and boldly emotional.
I’m not “too much” or “too little” of anything.
Don’t think that you can be drawn to my life force—and then punish me for the very emotional range that gives me the capacity to touch your heart.
I don’t need your money, your status—or to be your plus-one.
Because I’ve created all of that on my own.
I’m not looking for you to complete or validate me.
So no, I won’t need you—but I may choose you.
I’m not looking to tiptoe around your issues regarding intimacy.
If you’re going to dance with me—get ready to unearth those sides of you that have been long suppressed too.
Because, I want all of you.
I will not tolerate your bad behavior or chase you if you run from conflict.
But if you’re game, I will work through the tough parts with you when your inner child is freaking out.
I can’t promise it will be easy, but I do know it will be worth it.
This is the type of love that makes life worth living.
Go through the fire with me.
I’ll hold your hand.
We’ll dance through the pain and rise through the flames.