You’ve been suffering for 28 years. It’s time for you to shake your a** on a yacht in Dubai in a thong. Except, well, that’s just a dream. It’s Valentine’s Day and you are by yourself one more time. It’s the consistency for me. As a hopeless romantic, you are definitely not okay with this. You would have loved to be with the love of your life, sipping on some rose and enjoying the beauty of life on a beach. Yet, here you are, in your aesthetically pleasing two-bedroomed apartment, having achieved a lot for your age, but still lonely.
You know that love exists. All your friends have found it, so why not you? They have all settled down, and some are even planning their weddings. You secretly envy them, but you would never admit that to anyone – not even your therapist. You see, a part of you believes that if you had let your guard down, you would have met the love of your life by now. But your standards are very high (a good thing), and you would never lower them in order to fit in with the status quo (another good thing).
It’s not that you haven’t come close to being in a serious relationship. Not at all. There have been many instances, but, like Cinderella, you’re waiting for Prince Charming to come around with that glass slipper that fits you alone, perfectly. He will come around one day. It’s not a question of if, but when, and you know that wholeheartedly.
A few years ago, you met Jackson. It was the classic story – A boy and girl are walking from opposite directions on campus; the girl drops her books, and he helps her to pick them up. They stare into each other, and just like that, it’s love at first sight. Jackson was perfect until he was not. When you got to talking to him and knowing him better, you realised he was backward and definitely not the kind of man you pictured at first. He wasn’t meant for a feminist girl like you. He openly showed his misogyny and the worst part? You never went out on even one date. He said that those places were ‘too expensive’ and yet he could cook the same meal at home for half the price. Eventually, you decided to bail out of the relationship.
Then came Ian, who ticked all the boxes except for his looks. Again, he wasn’t who you pictured as the love of your life. You tried to date him, and that was a big mistake. Maybe it was because you had started off as friends and it was impossible to see him as more than that. Or maybe his physical attributes just didn’t appeal to you. He was just too insecure for a girl like you, and you knew that would cause problems in the future. So you ended the relationship. You had become extremely fond of him, but it had to be done. You lost a friend and a boyfriend, all in one day.
You were just starting to give up on this love thing. It was time to focus on your face masks, nail appointments, and scented candles in the name of self-care. You started falling in love with yourself once again, realising how beautiful you were and how much you loved your own company. Then came Emmanuel.
Emmanuel was the perfect man. He looked exactly like the man on your vision board. His aura oozed self-confidence, and he smelled like a millionaire. He was too good to be true. The dream was becoming a reality when he took you to Diani on holiday. Today Diani, tomorrow Dubai – that’s what you believed. He paid for everything. Unlike Ian, Emmanuel was very secure in himself. Unlike Jackson, he was a visionary. He believed in women and he treated you like a queen. You introduced him to your friends, who brushed him off with no reasonable explanation.
‘There’s just something about him that doesn’t seem right,’ they said. But you weren’t ready to hear that. He was Prince Charming, and they were just jealous, right?
Then Prince Charming turned out to be the opposite. You were asleep at his house one day when suddenly someone was banging on the door loudly. You jumped out of bed noticing the fear in Prince Charming, AKA Emmanuel’s eyes.
“That’s my girlfriend. You have to hide. If she sees you, she’s going to cause a scene,” he said.
You were shocked. All along, you thought you were his girlfriend, but that was when it hit you that you never once defined the relationship. So, like the good (recently appointed) side chick, you hid on his balcony for thirty minutes. When she went into the bathroom, you rushed out of the house like a thief. You never spoke to Prince Charming again, and you never told your friends what actually happened to him.
It’s now the 29th of February, exactly 15 days since your lonely Valentine’s Day. After reflecting on all that character development, you have decided that it’s time to give up. There are far more important things in life, and if love never comes around, you still have dreams to conquer and goals to accomplish. Then, as fate would have it, Love actually comes around.
Love is not perfect. He’s 0.5 inches shorter than your ideal man, and his voice is not as deep as you would have wanted it. He’s kind, though. Very kind, and he makes you feel good about yourself. You’re cautious at first, but little by little, you realise that Love is not like Emmanuel, Jackson, Ian, Tom, Dick, or Harry. Love knows how to treat you right. You don’t know it yet, but in less than two years, you will be happily married to Love. You will spend the rest of your life thanking God that you did not settle for less than what you deserved.
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