I know how to be alone and I'm okay with it. But if I'm going to be with someone, shouldn't they care about me?
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 15, 2019. It has since been updated.
Being alone isn't a nightmare for me. I love that I am responsible for myself and that I can be true to myself. Of course, there are times that I am lonely and I wish I had someone by my side. But I also know how it feels to be hurt, especially by the person(s) who claim they love you with their whole heart. What once was love was replaced by words and actions that made me feel terrible about myself, turning my self-esteem into dust.
So the last thing I want to do is get into that again. These experiences made me realize that being single isn't so bad. That's not to say all relationships are worthless, meaningless, or loveless. But being single has given me some new perspectives:
Going to a restaurant alone, taking a long walk on my own, even sitting at home alone with a hot cup of coffee, none of this scares me. I learn a lot about myself when I'm on my own and I know my own worth. What really scares me is being with a partner who doesn't appreciate just spending time with me. I want the person I'm with to enjoy being with me as much as I enjoy being with them. But I'm afraid of being with someone who sees me as nothing but an obligation, a duty they have to fulfill.
It took me a long time to finally find my identity and I truly love who I've become. Sure, I have faults but so does everybody. What I'm really scared of is being with someone who loses no chance to criticize me, to make me feel small and to make me feel like I just can't be myself. Someone who doesn't let me be the honest, funny, confident, beautiful person I know I am. I just want someone who can appreciate and love me, quirks, eccentricities and all.
Just because I cry, it doesn't mean I'm weak. It doesn't make me less of a person. But I'm afraid of being with someone who doesn't value my heart and has no qualms about breaking it. I fear being with a partner who thinks it's okay to lie to me, cheat on me, makes false promises and never take responsibility for the messes they cause. I'm frightened of being with someone who doesn't care about how I feel and won't treat me with love, respect, and compassion. Someone who doesn't understand what it is they're doing that hurts me and continues to do so. Someone who isn't willing to have that conversation.
I want to share my life with my partner. Even the little details. But I'm afraid of being with someone who might be physically there to hear me, but isn't truly listening to me. Someone who never accepts my points of view and disrespects most of my opinions. Someone who doesn't take the time out to help me learn and grow, something I would love to do, especially with my partner. Someone who constantly criticizes me and wants to try to prove me wrong most of the time. I want a guy who can make our conversations more interesting and more meaningful.
I have plenty of love to offer. And those I love will always know I have their backs. But I'm scared of being with someone who doesn't love me the same way. Someone whom I can't trust to be standing by my side during those happy and tragic moments. Someone who sees me usually as furniture instead of a human being with feelings. I don't want to be with someone who only wants me by their side for the public's sake, but won't share their genuine warmth and love with me.
I don't want to be with someone who focuses only on the physical aspects of our relationship instead of building an emotional connection with me. I too love a passionate night in bed, but it hurts when I know their feelings about me aren't genuine and I'm only a way for release. I'm scared of being with someone who focuses solely on their pleasure but leaves me grabbing at strands for my own. I don't want to give my body to someone who doesn't deserve all the things I have to offer. Someone who will hold me, yet make me feel like I'm still the only one in the relationship.
After so much heartbreak, I have learned to enjoy my own company. I've been hurt before and I've managed to pick myself up, piece together my heart again and move on. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to have someone to share my stories and love with. I'm just afraid of finding someone who might say all the right words but who is never there for me and who doesn't love, respect and, appreciate me... all of me.
I just want my partner to genuinely care. Is that too much to ask?
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.