The Tough Girl’s Guide to Love
Whether we want to admit it or not, girls spend time wishing for boyfriends. Some go as far as to wish for husbands. And some, even wish for children to go along with it. Feminist propaganda has tried desperately to fight it and to make us wish for equal wages, fair treatment, and work environments free of sexism, rather than wishing for a significant other, but it still happens. Girls still wish for boyfriends (insert girlfriend too, it’s the same issue regardless of sexual orientation).
After two years of living a beautiful, reckless, absolutely fun, single life, I met my match. And as I looked back on the nights where I told myself I didn’t need anyone, was happy on my own, and certainly didn’t need a man to fulfill any part of my life, I tried to figure out how the single me molds and meshes with the part of me that is taken.
Somewhere along the line, I was taught that it was a positive character trait to be incapable of commitment or compromise to anyone but myself. I was taught by a father who loved me and a mother who worked full time to take care of myself, because no one else will. I was taught to live a life of no regrets, to say I have no regrets, and that I didn’t owe anyone anything. These thoughts, these ideas ingrained in my brain, ensured a void of emotion, which was a very safe place for a tough girl nearing thirty to be.
But in a relationship, these ideas don’t work. I have to commit. I have to compromise. I may do or say things I regret. I have to admit that I regret doing or saying things. And even bigger, I have to allow myself to experience a vast range of emotion rather than a void of it. All things that violate any Tough Girl credo.
Even tough girls wish for a significant other, but aren’t emotionally ready for the commitment. So, if you are a single woman who has admitted that perhaps, just maybe, you want a relationship, I have a few steps to follow prior to making that commitment.
- Be exposed…drop the tough girl armor. I know, this violates rule number one in the Tough Girl Bible, but if you don’t drop the armor, you can kiss love goodbye. This doesn’t mean you have to turn yourself in to a blabbering, giggling ditz, but be open to letting someone love you. Be open to the idea that maybe you do need others. The birds need the bees, the flowers need the trees, you get the idea. Live your life like you can love, you want love, and you deserve love.
- No more drama…Mary J was right. You’ve got to go to mind-game rehab. When you want to talk to the guy you went out with last night, give him a call, send him an email. Don’t sit home and concoct imaginary reasons why he hasn’t called. And if he doesn’t respond, put him in your out-box. You don’t need to be with someone who is going to play games and if he’s not responding, he’s not in to you. It’s just that simple. On the other hand, if you like a guy, and he calls, don’t wait to call him back. If you like someone, go ahead and let yourself fall deeply in like.
- Play with yourself…spend time doing all the things that you find to be fun and fabulous. This may mean you have to spend some time alone doing things you find fun and exciting. The more you know yourself, the easier it will be for you to figure out when you’ve met someone you like. All of us have friends who are always in love with whoever the flavor of the month is, but when you are secure in yourself, you know who you want and who you don’t. Know yourself so you are easily able to recognize when you have met someone you think will make a good partner. Be adventurous – continue to discover and explore.
I will say that I have to remind myself of these three rules on a daily basis. Balancing the single girl I was and the committed girl I am trying to be is a difficult task. Not to mention mixing in a fiercely independent spirit – it’s like dumping oil on a bird hanging out in the ocean.
But, by making yourself open, realizing that wanting a life-partner is not a sign of weakness, and by putting head games in retirement, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to love and be loved. And you can still be a tough girl, you just don’t have to do it alone.