Ketut Subiyanto

I Used To Be So Desperate To Find The One, But All That Ever Did Was Disappoint Me

A hopeless romantic. Is that what I was? It all seems so funny now how obsessed I was about the idea of finding love. With certainty, I believed my soulmate was out there, and I couldn’t wait for our love story to begin. The moment we’d look into each other’s eyes, we’d know that we were meant for each other.

My friends would absolutely adore my boyfriend while I still tried to hide the relationship from my parents until we were ready. He’d tease me about my many insecurities, and I’d laugh because I know those are the little things that he loves most about me. Life’s everyday struggles would ensue, but there would be comfort in knowing that we’d get through them together. I’d imagine us years into the future, living our dreams and completely satisfied with each moment we’d spend here on earth. My husband would kiss me on the forehead and say the words I’d never grow tired of hearing: “I love you and you fill my days with joy and wonder.”

I wanted that. Not a perfect love, but a love that was real. Everybody deserves to be loved like that, right? It just sucks that aside from me, nobody else seems to want this.

I tried to look for love. I tried looking for The One. I searched for affection in the eyes of every guy I dated. I used to get excited, thinking “this could be him,” and tried my hardest to go and find out if he was. If I could make him smile with my jokes, he’d keep wanting to talk. If I listened enough, he’d know that I’d be there when he needed me. If I gave him everything he wanted, he wouldn’t find a reason to leave.

Before, I would have hidden in denial. I would pretend to be okay whenever another guy up and left without any reason. It was my fault. I read too much into the signs that were never really there. I believed in words that were never backed up by actions. I allowed myself to plead for scraps of attention. I accepted the bare minimum until each guy I dated realized that I was someone who didn’t deserve respect. These things didn’t matter to me because I was so used to it.

Like an endless cycle, I would go through different guys and have the same thing happen to me again and again. My heart yearned for someone to love. My brain required an object of focus, for it to be filled with thoughts of someone else. I needed someone to fit into my love story so that we could start living out our happily ever after. I could make him so happy, but why didn’t anyone want to be happy with me? I could give him everything he wanted, but why wasn’t that enough?

I hate this. I despise that the pure love and care I’m willing to give is nothing but a burden. I’m furious at the fact that people are uncomfortable with real feelings and would rather treat everything with indifference. I’m pathetic for choosing to believe lies and deceit because I was desperate to hold on to whatever I could.

At the end of the day, everything that was said and done between us meant nothing in the first place. Forever was never on the table. The reality is that from the very first day we met, time was already running out. The “future” for men like this is but a prison sentence. They’ll do whatever they can to plead “not guilty” and continue to be free—free to break more innocent little hearts like mine.

And you know what? I’m tired of making a fool of myself. It’s exhausting trying to dumb myself down when I know full well that I deserve to be treated better. I’m smart, so screw anyone else who thinks they could make a fool of me. The best thing I could do for myself now was to completely forget about them. To spend even a second thinking about them and wishing things could have gone differently is a complete waste of time.

If you asked me now if I wanted a relationship, I would say, “It would be nice, but I don’t really need it.” My heart has found contentment in the nonexistence of fictional characters in romantic books and series. They’re enough to satisfy my romantic fantasies because I have yet to meet a man from this reality who’s willing to try.

No, I am still not complete, but I don’t think I need anyone else to complete me. I’m a grown man, fully capable of figuring out my own issues. Yes, I’m alone, but I’m single and unbothered. Nobody cares about me and that’s completely alright. I’ve got more important things to worry about. I have to deal with the problems life keeps giving me that are way bigger than just another guy’s ego.

Happiness sneaks in from time to time, but now it comes from all directions. I’ve removed expectations because you can’t force things to happen just because you really want them to. I’m going forth into the future on my own, without any idea of what’s going to happen, but I’m excited about the possibilities. I’m stronger than I ever was and I have the confidence that I will do just fine.

Screw a love story. How about some action? Let me at ’em! I’ve got nothing left to lose, baby.