I WAS LYING IN MY BED AFTER MIDNIGHT on a Saturday. I was watching Netflix and having my usual cup of Rosé, but this night I was not alone. I’ve been seeing this guy for a couple of months. He’s a handsome, smart, tall, and a grounded good man with white skin. He’s a sweetheart, and he’s the best sex I’ve ever had. What else would I want? My logic screams boyfriend, but my heart begs no. I expected nothing from him since I met him because I thought he was too good for me and I didn’t even anticipated I would end up seeing him. I’ve been going with the flow. I haven’t asked for nothing, and I still expected nothing after all the amazing sex we’ve had and the friendship that developed between us. At this point in my life, all I want is some company. I’m no longer striving for love.
I’m not gonna ask you for nothing / Just luv me, just luv me / I’ma keep it simple, real simple / Just luv me, just luv me (Just Luv Me, Britney Spears)
Before and after sex we usually have nice talks while we watch Netflix (Netflix & Chill), but that night he stayed over, so our conversations turned a lot more personal as the night was passing by. We were exchanging stories about our lives and past relationships. I was sitting naked on the edge of my bed having the Triple Meat sandwich he had taken me to buy at Quiznos earlier on his bike. “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been,” I said. “And I don’t want to ruin this happiness with a boyfriend. I won’t oppose to the opportunity of having a boyfriend, but I’m very hesitant, and I’m definitely not looking.” He interrupted me to say that a boyfriend is supposed to enhance your happiness, not the other way around.
“I know this,” I continued. “But I don’t believe true love will happen to me. Not anymore. I’m very Disney. I mean, I used to be. I genuinely believed in the fairy tale kind of love since I saw Cinderella for the first time when I was like 5, but last year I feel I was awaken into reality because life is not like Disney, and now I’m just so happy with myself and with the way my life is, that I don’t think about finding love anymore, and I truthfully don’t think a man will make me happier. Relationships are a lot of work and often disappointing, and I’ve become too selfish, I admit it, that I don’t feel I want to care for somebody else’s feelings or wellbeing. I rather set all my attention towards my job and hopefully grow in this company. A man would distract me, and I don’t wanna make that mistake again. I’m not that young anymore.”
Even though I believed in every word I was saying. I still believed that maybe this naked man in my bed could mean something more to me, if he wanted to. I had avoided to ask for a label. I was afraid I would fuck it up if I asked what we were and where we were going. I had told my gay friend Carlos about it a few days before in his car on our way to the club. “Charlie, you have to ask him,” he said. “You have to know what he wants before you get any hopes up”.
No, let’s not put a label on it / Let’s keep it fun / We don’t put a label on it / So we can run free, yeah / I wanna be free like you / I’m a cool girl. (Cool Girl, Tove Lo)
I wanted to keep it fun and run free, but I couldn’t help it. I had to ask now, or forever hold me peace. I guess I’m not that cool. “I want to ask you something, but I don’t want you to get freaked out,” I said while I was trying to find the most unthreatening words I could. “What are we doing? I mean, are we being exclusive?”
“He didn’t hold my hand at movies. He doesn’t like me like that,” I told Carlos while he was driving. “We went to the movies the other day. And he never reached for my hand. If a guy likes you, he will hold your hand the first time you go to the movies. I even tried to give him a hint by placing my hand on his leg for a few minutes, and guess what he did. He crossed his arms. That was definitely a clear signal.” Carlos said that didn’t mean anything. “I never even held hands with my last boyfriend at the movies,” he said.
Two seconds went by before he uttered a word. “Exclusive?” he said. “I haven’t been with anyone else since I’ve been with you. I think it’s out of respect. But being exclusive means compromise,” he continued. “I don’t think is good idea to compromise. I mean, I hope I eventually find a boyfriend and compromise, but in order to find a boyfriend we need to meet people, and meeting people is not possible if you’re exclusive. Am I explaining myself?” he asked. “That makes sense,” I said as I nodded and faked a smile. “Let’s sleep,” he said as he was turning his back in bed. The next morning I felt when he got up and immediately put his clothes on. I opened my eyes and he said “Please open the door, I’m leaving.” I didn’t hear from him in two weeks after that. I had nightmares that night. I know what he said, but all I heard was: I’m looking for compromise, but not with you.
You got me in my feelings / Talking in my sleep again / Drown out all our screaming / Who’s doper than this bitch? / Who’s freer than me? / You wanna make the switch / Be my guest, baby / I’m feeling all my fucking feelings (In My Feelings, Lana del Rey)
It was in that moment when my mind understood why my heart is happy with solitude. I do not want to get in my feelings for another man. It diminishes all the effort I’ve put in loving myself. It makes me insecure, and ultimately unhappy.
I watched Cinderella over and over when I was a child. I grew up obsessed with finding true love. Countless love stories and romantic comedies fed my naive expectation that one day my Prince would come and I would have my happy ending. I’m not charmed anymore. After turning 31 last year, somehow I accepted the fact that, sadly, Prince Charming is just a cartoon character I’ve been in love with for the last 3 decades. Maybe the fairy tale is possible for other people, but not for me. “Nicaraguans are not looking for love, because they don’t believe in love,” I’ve said many times, but I guess most people in general don’t believe in love anymore. “I’m very Disney,” I said to every man I’ve met. They didn’t understand I was actually being serious about it. Or maybe I didn’t understand no one would ever take that statement seriously.
In a matter of months I went from fairy-tale-endings to enjoy-it-while-it-lasts. Today, I understand I was completely unrealistic. “I’m sorry, we need to let go. I need to be realistic,” said the one that got away last year. Real men are full of imperfections and relationships are bound to end, you just have to be happy while they last and learn to let go in order to open a new door for somebody new to love and be loved by. But I never forget a line I heard in a Gwinnett Paltrow movie I saw when I was a teenager (Great Expectations): “We are who we are. People don’t change.” It bothers me that deep inside, I still believe, and I wish I didn’t.
My loneliness / Is killing me and I / I must confess / I still believe. (Baby One More Time, Britney Spears)
The spell is broken, but I’m not going to lie: I would like to have a boyfriend. I’m just human. But I’m genuinely happy on my own. I don’t have to worry if a man really loves me or not. I don’t have to worry about feelings getting hurt. I don’t have to worry about expectations being underachieved. I love myself so much now, that it borders on narcissism and it makes me selfish. And this is why I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m no longer seeking for somebody else’s gleam in the dark. I found my own light. I’m out of the black. Into the blue.
There’s no more chasing rainbows / And hoping for an end to them / Their arches are illusions / Solid at first glance / But then you try to touch them / There’s nothing to hold on to / The colors used to lure you in and put you in a trance. (Get Free, Lana del Rey)
My body used to be a temple, but in the last year it has become an amusement park. If I was Miley Cyrus’ career, I used to be Disney’s Hannah Montana; now I’m her 2013 MTV-VMAs performance. I once was a Charlotte; now I’m a Samantha (Sex & The City). I’ve had more sex partners in the last few months after I stopped believing true love could happen to me, than the ones I had in the first 30 years of my life. The day of my birthday this year, I decided I would be celibate. I was jaded of the anonymous sex I was having. “I’m celibate now,” I proclaimed to my friends at work during our break. “I’m tired of men seeing me like I’m just a piece of meat. I’m a person and I have feelings,” I explained upon their request. I’m sure they thought I was kidding. I was determined to keep celibacy. I’m not just a piece of meat the men I meet can use to their satisfaction while they find a man they actually like, but honestly, I’ve probably used these men almost as much as they have used me. The only difference is that I’ve done this as a substitute for love, not for a quick fuck. I use sex as a means of finding some type of connection, hopping that somehow it would mutate into a real friendship. It doesn’t.
You ain’t gotta be my lover for you to call me baby / Never been around, no pressure / Ain’t that serious? / Can we, we keep, keep each other company? / Maybe we, can be, be each other’s company / Oh, company. (Company, Justin Bieber)
I don’t have somebody to love me, and that’s okay. I have freedom — is there anything else a Gemini values more? — I’m free to continue skinny-dipping at 3am and having sex by the beach with three other guys in San Juan del Sur. I’m free to continue partying at the gay club till 5am every weekend. Free to continue sending nudes to strangers on Grindr and leaving my house after midnight to meet up with a guy. Free to be myself and do as I please. It’s fun and exciting, but I still think monogamy is the way to go (Breathe On Me, Britney Spears).
And I know / Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh / When you know somebody / Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh / And they know your body / It’s so much better. (Better, Britney Spears)