Hard to Love a Girl Like Me


Man, I can understand, how it might be kinda hard to love a girl like me.
I don’t blame you much for wanting to be free, I just wanted you to know.
-Nina Simone

I’m probably the worst person EVER to date. Don’t believe me? Ask those fly boys fool enough to get close to my flytrap. I go ALL in, head first, immerse myself in the other person, absorb all of them, swim in their essence, talk about them incessantly….but the moment things get REAL or sticky or uncomfortable, I am prepared to cut and run for the hills.

Mature? Hardly.

Responsible? meh…

Fair to the other person? Not at all.

I’ve spent too much time and too many hours of my life in the last decade arguing or fighting with one man only to start dating another who seemed to love arguing just as much as the one before him did. The experiences left me jaded and more than a little gunshy. (I HATE admitting that I let anyone not blood related to me affect me so deeply, but denying it doesn’t do any of us any good). I’ve learned that the most passionate and heated arguments between lovers are rarely about what is being said, and more often than not about what is NOT being said. It is easier to get fired up, defensive, hurl insults and name call than it is to be open, honest and raw and admit your hurt to the person, especially if you feel strongly for them. Despite how grown and mature we may profess to being, something deep inside us is still eternally afraid of playing ourselves, of looking the fool, of losing face.

From the very start, it’s my own fault what happens to my heart.
You see, I’ve always known you’d go…
So you just do what you’ve gotta do, my wild sweet love…
-Nina Simone

I grew up in a home of mercurial volcanic emotivity. Two parents who had knockdown, drag out verbal sparring matches with one another, only to make up later and lick each other’s wounds. Their makeups were equally epic. He would shower her with baubles and clothes she didn’t really want. She would flood the house with his favorite foods and play the devoted wife to the hilt. Romantic love for me was always this breed of unconditional love. No matter how hard it got, the other person would always be there until they weren’t anymore. If I push and he stays, then it was meant to be. If I push and he leaves, then he wasn’t true to begin with no matter how strongly we felt for each other. It seems I completely misconstrued the adage “If you love someone let him go…” Romantic entrapment has become my field of expertise but unfortunately in life there is no Bureau of Internal Affairs to investigate me. I’ve only recently discovered that not everyone grew up with this template of demonstrative take-it-to-the-mattresses kind of love. Inevitably, I am left by myself to start all over again with a new cast.

Recently, I found myself embroiled in an argument that felt far too much like one I’d had before. Same script, different cast. Instead of listening and absorbing what he was saying, I lashed out, I attacked, and I pushed. I pushed hard. I didn’t want him to leave. I still don’t. I didn’t want to hurt him. I still don’t. For whatever reason, instead of listening to someone I care about, I felt that familiar feeling of drowning in the argument and my own flaws. I’m a Virgo, we like perfection. I’m aware of my mortality, of my humanity, that I have some imperfections. I know no one CAN be perfect, but being seen as imperfect or lacking or not what the object of my fancy wants/needs/longs for IRKS THE SHIT OUT OF ME. I felt the waters of relationship turbulence swirling around me and to stay afloat, I lashed out, I attacked, I pushed, and I am deeply sorry I did. He didn’t deserve that and I hope once all the dust has truly settled that he will forgive me.

At my wise old age, I am able to look behind me at the carrion of love laid to waste in my stead and mourn for the role I played in the devastation of what could have been great romances. I have allowed fear of being hurt to drive me away from beaus, suitors, and persons of interests when said lovers do not conform to the role I’ve written for them in the scenes in my mind. My lovers may end up characters in my writing, but in the present tense, it doesn’t warrant me any control over them, their words or their actions. There have been times when a man has feebly tried to tell me something, that I did hurt his feelings, in convoluted Man-guage of course.

Instead of being as gender-bilingual, open, and receptive as I would hope him to be for me, more often than not, I have gotten defensive and antagonistic. It’s easy to bite and snarl instead of reading between the lines and truly hearing what the other person is saying instead of being able to face what he is saying and admit what I did wrong. “Easy to be hard. Easy to be cold.” In spite of what I long believed, I have allowed my life experiences to harden me, to allow my blood to run slightly cooler yet pretending to be hopeful and optimistic about the possibilities of love. I constantly have one foot out the door in would-be-relationships with an open ended train ticket to Bittersville all the while declaring that I was resilient, positive, hopeful, and able to roll with the punches. I wasn’t rolling with them, I was delivering them hard and fast and often under the belt to men who often didn’t deserve them.

I don’t want to do that anymore.

While I may be a consummate actor on the stage (and truth be told sometimes in the boudoir. Sorry for the TMI), but in real life, I can’t act. I have no poker face. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, it just lives there. Though I can verbally throw down as nonsensically as those who spawned me, I’m a lover, not a fighter. I am built for love.

In spite of this, more often than not, I am willing to cut my losses and throw my hands up rather than study and examine things through a different lens or from another perspective. I am the Queen of cutting off my nose to spite my face. Why?

Because I am absolutely terrified of being left again.

Living in a state of constant fear or constant peril that a man I care for may disappear at any point becomes its own self fulfilling prophesy time and time again. I am built for love. I am built to love, not to be afraid of all that it encompasses. So if you happen to find yourself the object of my fancy, I promise I don’t mean to Carmen Jones you. I just want to make sure that the man I love always get the best of me. Memories of me should be a watermark on the minds of my lovers lasting long after the scent of me has left their nostrils. One day I hope to be grown up enough to sit before the object of my undying affection, bear my soul, and not worry about him seeing the cracks in my veneer. I hope that day comes soon.

“Come on back and see me when you can.”

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