There are three things you should know about me.
Number One: My go-to drink is a vodka soda with two limes. With straight up-tequila coming in at a close second.
Number Two: It only takes 1/2 a drink for me to get notably tipsy.
Number Three: I am completely guarded in word and heart….until said tipsy state has been actuated.
Last night was one of those nights.
I was catching up with a good friend of mine up in Harlem. We were at this really cool speakeasy with smooth jazz, exposed brick, high concept cocktails, and where the menus are literally pasted into old hard-cover books.
She and I were having a great time. Chatting. Laughing. Making friends with the cute bartender. You know. A typical Tuesday night for your twenty-something New Yorker.
But as the night went along, and the conversation had turned to dating and the atrocity of the modern day, “Swipe-right“-App-driven dating scene, I found myself opening my heart to her about some of my fears and struggles when it comes to the romance department.
And you know how, when you’re a little loosy-goosy, you can almost hear yourself talking – completely self aware of how you’re coming off, and yet simultaneously you’ve willingly abandoned the ability to filter what it is you’re saying?
If that makes any sense at all?
Anyway, I’ll just cut to the chase here…
I literally heard these words come out of my mouth:
“I think I’m afraid to date because I fear that, because I’m a virgin, I won’t be enough for a man. I’d be a waste of time.”
And bless her heart, my friend was so kind and built me up and reassured me as any good friend would do.
But the following day, with sober-Caralyn reflecting on that cringe-worthy confession, it gave me a lot of emotions. A lot of “feels” – as the kids these days are saying. 😉
I’m going to be really honest – I’ve reached the age where, being a virgin is no longer “cute.” It’s more like…what’s wrong with her?
You all know my love for The Bachelor – and one of the themes that has come up recently on Bachelor in Paradise, – and frankly in the media at large – is the concept of “Virgin Shaming.”
And I can fully affirm, that that is absolutely, positively a real thing.
I know that my virginity is nothing to be ashamed of, and truthfully, it gives me so much joy and peace to know that I will be able to give that to my future husband one day, but the fact is…right now...I feel like less of a woman. I feel like I’m defective. Or undesirable. Frankly, I feel a lot of shame and embarrassment.
And let me just say, I’m not looking to be built up or complimented or anything like that. I’m just processing a comment I uttered when my walls were down that quite honestly, shocked me. Frankly, I thought I was “stronger” than letting the pressures of society get to me like that. But I guess, my inner heart can still be wounded, no matter how tough of defenses I try to enact.
I think I’m at a very dangerous crossroads of two very different paths. One, of a closed off existence, lived in fear and shame – having cowered away from even looking for a man, simply because I’m afraid of disappointing someone with my non-easiness. Or the other road, where I remain emotionally open and receptive to a relationship – dare I say: even seeking one out, with the confidence and assuredness in my decision to remain a virgin until marriage.
Because it’s either one or the other. There’s not really much grey area anymore – I’m either open to love, or I’m not. And am I really going to let my self-consciousness in the lack of knotches on my belt be the determining factor?
That would be quite the tragedy.
I guess, this is just my public proclamation, that I am not going to let the shame I may feel get the best of me and dictate the direction my life is going to take.
Because the fact is, I do have a lot to offer a man.
And I’m going to be a damn good wife, if I do say so myself.
But I can’t be afraid to put myself out there, just because I’m nervous about what he’ll say.
Will it be a deal breaker for some guys? Yes. Probably most guys.
But not for the guy. Not for the right guy.
But I’m not going to meet that guy if I just reject every offer that comes my way and swear off dating, simply because I’m afraid. That’s a pocket veto if I’ve ever seen one.
SO. Before the month is over, I’m going to go on one date. By Oct 1. I have to stop turning down opportunities, and actually accept one date. I’m asking you to hold me accountable. Okay?
Good. Thanks. Glad that’s settled.
Now please excuse me while I go and try to ‘be approachable’ at Barnes & Noble.
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