I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my feelings and experiences with the opposite sex. I had an epiphany that has never remotely occurred to me before.
It’s disappointment with the opposite sex.
First, let me start out by making this one thing clear. This post is not a “down with men” or “down with love” sort of diatribe. Far from it. I am a woman writing about her feelings and experiences with the opposite sex. This could just as easily be written from a man’s point of view. At least, I wonder if men feel this way too. I’m not sure. And that’s why I’m putting this out there to spark some thoughts and conversations on the subject.
After twenty-plus years of dating, I’ve become jaded of sorts. My expectations have been lowered significantly on the romance front. The twenty year old version of me dreamed of the day her crush would ask her out and bring a dozen roses to her on the doorstep. The 39 year old version of me has never had a man bring her roses on a date, and is impressed when a guy actually offers to pick her up, and doesn’t suggest she take public transit to meet him somewhere. Actually, the older version of me is just impressed when a man asks her out. That’s about all it takes to impress her now.
After years and years of being single, I’ve been disappointed over and over again. I no longer expect much. Oh I still have high hopes, but they are kept in check with a heavy dose of reality.
Nearly all of my experiences with the opposite sex have had negative returns. Even the good guys have left a bad impression at some point in time. Whether it’s an unrequited crush, cat calls from a man on the street, a bad breakup, or the guy at church yesterday who said to me, “why would anyone ever want your opinion?” most of the experiences I have with men are not positive.
My experiences with my own sex are different. We laugh, joke, share, and commiserate together. These are not experiences I have with the opposite sex. The positive experiences I have with men are getting far and few between.
And I worry about that.
I worry that my heart will build bigger defenses, higher walls, and tougher callouses when it comes to the opposite sex. You have to have a “strong center,” or “be mentally strong,” “have thick skin,” etc., when it comes to attempting to befriend the opposite sex.
In the long run, can all of these negative experiences be good? We need the positive experiences. We need to seek them out and find them. We need to start to like them again, and not just associate them with bad experiences.